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April 2010

Minutes of the Taw Torridge Estuary Forum Meeting held at 7.00 pm on Monday 19th April 2010 at Bideford Town Hall

Members Present:
T Pratt, (NDYC) 
C. Hassall (Rolle Canal Soc.)
Andrew Knights (Natural England) 
Malcolm Roberts (Coastwise North Devon)
Jack Earnshaw (GAIA Trust / Home Farm Marsh
Andrew Atkinson (North Devon Sea Anglers)
T.E.Alasdair Barclay (Chair – Norham Burrows 1716 Cttee)
Stuart Stickler (Slipway Warden Appledore – for TDC)
Sean McKay (Environment Agency)
Simon Brown (Marine Volunteer Services)
Paul Fronteras (Westleigh PC)

1. The Nature of the Meeting:
Tony Pratt, in the absence of any elected officers explained that he had called the meeting at the request of the Planning & Consultation Committee to consider the future of the Forum. Without a formal Chair it was agreed that the meeting be conducted “in the round”.

2. Apologies for Absence:
Apologies for absence were received from:
Rose Day (AONB)
John Kelly (RSPB)
A. Littlejohns (RNLI)
Wayne Silver (Fremington Parish Council)
Lt. Col. (Retd) Portman

3. Report of P & C Committee and Acceptance of Minutes
The Report of the TTEF P&C Committee dated 19th April 2010 was presented. This confirmed that the Committee had met three times since the AGM in January. Notes for three meetings have been distributed, the last set is pending approval by the Committee. The report covered:

Future of the Severn Sands Knapp House Marina and Village
Conversion of Bideford Cattle Market Marine Planning Areas
The N. Devon Joint Core Strategy T & T Estuary Management Plan
Appointment of Secretary Houseboats and Liveaboards
The Future of the TTEF.

Acceptance of the Minutes of the Forum’s meeting on, 19th Jan. 2010 and those of the Planning and Consultancy Sub-Committee of 8th Jan. 2010, 29th Jan, 2010, and 26 February 2010, was proposed by Jack Earnshaw and seconded by Malcolm Roberts.

4. Other Reports Received

(a) Estuary Report: 
The Harbourmaster had submitted a report which will be published in full on the Forum’s website. It was felt that this was a very positive report and showed increasing activity in the Harbour area. The meeting wished to relay their thanks to the Harbour Master for his excellent report.

It was noted that no report had been received from the Biosphere or the AONB, the latter in the absence of their Chairman.

5. The Future of the TTEF
Tony presented a summary of the responses to the Questionnaire set to all interested parties in March. 
. Opinions of other attendees were voiced and discussed and as a result of the input provided it was decided that :
• every effort would be made to keep the Forum going.
• We would limit our activity to matters ‘closer to home’ and avoid getting bogged down in matters that were not strictly related to the estuary.
• maintain our face-to-face quarterly meetings but provide more information before and after P&C meetings as stated above.
• maintain our useful position of voicing concerns – to both local authorities 
• in future, due to the lack of officers, meetings would not be officially ‘chaired’ but would take place in a ‘round-table’ manner
• an email would be sent to all members and interested parties in advance of P&C meetings, listing items to be discussed. Any member or interested party would be welcome at the P&C.
• subsequent to the P&C, members and interested parties would be informed by email of steps to be taken in respect of any of the items discussed.
• Improve internal communications generally
• use the website more effectively (DD to speak with PF)
• Denise confirmed that subscriptions had been received from 7 members to date.

It was hoped that a newsletter could be produced once or twice a year for distribution further afield to other Estuary Officers for example.

6. A.O.B.

a) Malcolm Roberts asked Andrew Atkinson is the issue of locking gates to the Northam Burrows had been resolved. He was told that it had not. It was therefore decided that the Forum would look at this again and make the necessary approach to TDC stating that the Forum considers that action should be taken to assist anglers who currently are required to carry all their equipment to the far end of the Burrows

b) Sean McKay explained the Water Framework Directive which seeks to view the environment in a more holistic way. 

c) The Severn Sands was discussed and Sean explained that the owner had threatened to sue any group that tried to move or break up the vessel. Sean went on to explain that a lack of budgets generally was not helping as well as the fact that the ship was moored on Crown land. It was decided to include this item on the next P&C and to see what could be done to resolve the problem.

d) Tony informed the group that the next meeting would be on 19th July in the Town Hall Bideford. The following meeting would be at the Civic Centre in Barnstaple on 18 October and the third on 17 Jan 2011, again at the Civic Centre.

The meeting closed at 8.50pm.